Dartmoor Pony

Dartmoor Pony photo
Dartmoor pony on Hameldon on Dartmoor.
Photograph by Herbythyme. Some rights reserved.

Dartmoor Pony photo
Dartmoor ponies
Photograph by lostajy. Some rights reserved.

Dartmoor Pony photo
Photograph by Neostinker. License: Public Domain.


The Dartmoor Pony is a native of the city of Devon which is situated in the South western part of England. This part of England has been the home of the Dartmoor Pony for hundreds of years. The horses of this breed have never ending stamina since the entire breed developed on the moors which has a tough terrain.

The horses of this breed have small heads. Their eyes which reflect the intelligence of these animals and their understanding nature are set wide apart. Their ears are very sharp and alert. The height of the Dartmoor Pony ranges from 11.1 to 12.2 hands. The jaws and throat of these animals are fine set and the neck has a medium length. The shoulders are laid back and slightly sloping and are not very pronounced at the withers. Their small body has a medium length with a deep girth. The hindquarters of the Dartmoor ponies are very strong and well muscled. The tail is set high. These horses have a full flowing mane and tail.

The Dartmoor ponies have a very kind and even temperament. They are reliable creatures that are also very calm and gentle. They are also very intelligent and alert.

11.1 - 12.2 hands

The main coat colors of the Dartmoor ponies are black, bay, roan, chestnut, grey and brown. Though piebald, skewbald and excessive white marking are found on some ponies, they are not considered for registration.

Suitable for
Thanks to its medium height, the Dartmoor pony is considered a good pleasure mount for children. They are strong enough to carry adults too. Since their movement is smooth and good, these horses are used for riding, showing, jumping, hunting and even for driving purposes.

The existence of the Dartmoor ponies can be traced back to the medieval periods. At that point of time, the horses of this breed were used to transport the tins from the mines across the moor. In order to increase the efficiency of these animals, the humans diluted the bloodline of this breed by cross breeding them with Shetland blood. This caused the breed to suffer for a period of about 45 years during the 17th and 18th century. However, after the mines in the area shut down, these ponies were let loose on the moore.

In 1898, the first attempt to preserve the bloodline of these ponies and register them began. This led to the formation of a studbook which was released in the year 1924 which was when the first registry for this breed also came into existence. The ponies also suffered during the two major world wars. Post the Second World War, the local people took steps to ensure the survival of this breed.

However, today the Dartmoor Pony society and the Dartmoor Pony Moorland Scheme have breeding programs in place which have helped significantly improve the number of this breed.